Busy year? Having trouble catching up? Check out the best of BCS’s State of Play reports 2014. Brian Runciman MBCS summarises.

As always with IT there were lots of acronyms and x-letter abbreviations. January’s focus on business intelligence brought forth one - the impact of the convergence of social media, mobile technologies and a cloud IT infrastructure can apparently be termed SoMoClo.

Then in February we asked whether mobile device management (MDM) is the solution for secure apps.

A cup of Java?

Have you read ‘Learning Java, 4th Edition’? For newcomers to Java, this guide provides an example-driven introduction to the latest language features and APIs in Java 6 and 7. Advanced Java developers can use the book to take a deep dive into areas such as concurrency and Java virtual machine enhancements.

April agility

Not a buzz-acronym, but definitely a ‘buzzy’ phrase - this extensive report looks at agile and traditional methodologies for developing software applications, examines their drawbacks and advantages, and their suitability for particular kinds of projects.

Another item shows that agility without objective governance cannot scale, and governance without agility cannot compete. This article describes more meaningful measurement and prediction foundations for economic governance.

Four-letter abbreviations

BYOD - bringing your own device - could make way for CYOD, choosing your own device. This report looks at a strategy for this along with the implications of using personal devices abroad and how new applications can address security concerns. An example is used from software giant SAP, and how it manages its BYOD program for 70,000 employees.

Also covered: When deploying BYOD, is it possible to balance the needs of the business with those of the employee, while maintaining respect for privacy? How about a corporate-owned, personally enabled (COPE) approach?

Get off my cloud

The Spring 2014 State of Cloud Security Report from cloud security service vendor Alert Logic found that the cloud has many of the same security risks as non-cloud IT deployments. And what of the legal concerns associated with using cloud services? This piece includes a checklist of customer concerns related to movement of data onto a cloud computing environment.

We are glass

August and September reports took an in-depth look at augmented reality (AR) technology, which has now developed to the point where it is useful as an internal tool for organisations in complementing and enhancing business processes, workflows and employee training. Current implementations generally fall into one of two categories - location-based or computer vision.

A study conducted by research specialist Jupiter Research found that AR mobile device applications generated nearly US$300 million revenue in 2013 and are estimated to increase by more than US$2.5 billion in 2017.

One’s of AR’s most high profile products - Google Glass - has run into some difficulties. Some US states are considering banning drivers from wearing the glasses whilst driving, but it is still under debate whether they would be a bigger help (for instance by giving directions) or hindrance to drivers. Other areas for legislators to consider are copyright infringement and privacy rights, but some experts think that issues arising through Google Glass use are not much different from those connected to smartphones.

In related news, 2014 also saw 38 vehicle models in the USA have head-up displays as standard or optional, compared to 13 models five years ago.

I, robot

This feature includes a piece calling for government backing to help robotics reach its potential and keep the country at the forefront of developments. Also discussed are the social and economic implications of advances in robotics, which looks like it will improve productivity, but also cause worker displacement.